In the early 1800s, the Mvskoke people were forcibly removed from their original lands east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory, which is now part of Oklahoma. Two hundred years later, Joy Harjo returns to her family’s lands and opens a dialogue with history. In An American Sunrise, Harjo finds blessings in the abundance of her homeland and confronts the site where her people, and other indigenous families, essentially disappeared. From her memory of her mother’s death, to her beginnings in the native rights movement, to the fresh road with her beloved, Harjo’s personal life intertwines with tribal histories to create a space for renewed beginnings. Her poems sing of beauty and survival, illuminating a spirituality that connects her to her ancestors and thrums with the quiet anger of living in the ruins of injustice.
Free copies of An American Sunrise will be available at the NEA Big Read Massillon Kickoff event at the Massillon Museum on Saturday, April 2, 2022. Various other locations throughout Stark County will also have copies to distribute following the kickoff event. For more information, visit the Massillon Museum’s website.
The digital audiobook version of An American Sunrise is also available to borrow from hoopla.
For more information and a selection of discussion questions about this book, visit the NEA Big Read page for this title.